Saturday, June 15, 2024

Government scraps child refugee scheme: How did your MP vote?

The Government has scrapped a scheme to provide support and sanctuary to lone children fleeing war in Syria reports The Independent.

Just months after it was established, the Dubs Amendment has been ditched by Theresa May’s Government on the eve of a parliamentary recess, in a move described as “shameful” by Lord Dubs, who brought in the measures to help child refugees.

The closure of the scheme has met with widespread censure. The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was “saddened and shocked” by its closure and appeared to compare the Government’s position with that of Donald Trump.

Lord Dubs, who himself was a child refugee fleeing the Nazis, also condemned the anti-refugee sentiment coming from the US and the British Government.

He said: “At a time when Donald Trump is banning refugees from America, it would be shameful if the UK followed suit by closing down this route to sanctuary for unaccompanied children just months after it was opened.”

The amendment was originally introduced to a bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration, and was designed to aid 3,000 children from war-ravaged countries.

To date only 350 children have benefitted from the scheme.

But Home Secretary Amber Rudd told MPs this week that the scheme was now “a magnet for people traffickers”, and warned that the scheme for child refugees was “incentivising” migration.

When the amendment to the bill was introduced in April 2016, it only narrowly scraped through the commons, with 294 MPs voting in favour of it against 276.

In total 289 Conservatives voted against the amendment.

The move was supported by Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and five Conservative MPs – Tania Mathews, Will Quince, Geoffrey Cox, David Warburton and Stephen Phillips.

At the time, the Conservatives’ Mr Phillips explained why he supported the measure.

He said: “These children are already in Europe. They are alone, far from their families, they are cold, frightened, hungry, frequently without help or access to those who might help or protect them.”

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